Meteorologists attend Island conference on tropical storms

SOUTH PADRE ISLAND — He chased Hurricane Patricia and in the process braved 215 mph winds to enter the core of the second-most intense tropical cyclone on record.

One of the world’s expert hurricane chasers, Josh Morgerman, is on the Island attending the National Tropical Weather Conference.

Morgerman is among the more than 50 meteorologists from the Atlantic and Gulf coast in attendance.

They have been here to gather expert information about the 2016 Hurricane season forecast.

Dr. Phil Koltzbach announced his predictions at the conference yesterday. He said this year will be an average season with 12 named storms, five hurricanes and two major hurricanes.

He said Texas has a one-in-three chance of a major hurricane making landfall along its coast.

Koltzbach said luck has been the primary factor for the lack of major hurricanes over the last few years.

“We’ve had 10 years with no major landfalls, and if you look at the tracks of the storms, some have been very close,” Koltzbach said. “Some have hit Cuba and that’s actually not very far from south Florida, so that’s absolutely luck.”

He uses historical data and climate relationships to come up with his forecasts.

Koltzbach is a research scientist in the department of Atmospheric Science at Colorado State University.

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